Kathleen Gilje

Bernard Toale Gallery

In “New Intentions,” Kathleen Gilje masterfully exploited her skills as a restorer in her clever “modifications” of seven classic works of art. Replacing details from works by Masaccio, Van Eyck, and Ghirlandaio, for example, with emblems of Modern art and contemporary popular culture, she alters the identity and iconography of the original. However, unlike those who have similarly dealt with art-historical materials over the last decade, such as Sherrie Levine, Cindy Sherman, or Mike Bidlo, Gilje seems less interested in parodying painting itself than in personalizing her favorite works of art that she painstakingly researches and copies from reproductions, like a highly creative conservator. She even goes so far as to remove the original attribution (artist’s name, date, and location) from her amended titles and sign the paintings with her own name.

In Woman in Blue, Restored, 1992–93,

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